posted August 10, 2005

Great Performance Series Announces Season

Continuing to offer an internationally-recognized roster of artists to the West Michigan area, the Hope College Great Performance Series has announced its 2005-06 season.

The unique series offers a range of artistic performances, including theatre, dance, classical music and jazz music.

The season will open on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m., when the Grammy-award nominated David Sánchez Quartet takes the stage at Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Sánchez has received several Grammy nominations, including in 2005, for his innovative jazz saxophone work. Born in Puerto Rico, Sánchez began playing percussion and drums before taking up the tenor saxophone. He mixes American jazz with the bomba and plena rhythms of Puerto Rico. "The Boston Herald" has said that Sánchez uses "the traditions of jazz and Latin America as a launching pad for a dazzling new blend."

On Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 18-19, the internationally acclaimed James Sewell Ballet company will perform at the Knickerbocker Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The Minnesota-based company is recognized for its innovation, musicality, technical expertise, and engaging productions. The company combines the classic virtues of ballet with the freedom of modern dance, and bit of vaudeville sneaks in as well. "Different and unpredictable, this is the company to see," "The New York Times" has said.

The Osiris Piano Trio will perform on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The three Dutch musicians officially became a trio more than 15 years ago, when the Amsterdam Concertgebouw asked them to collaborate. Their recordings and performances have brought them endless praise, and the trio is still young enough to promise even more in the future. "The top quality performances and persistence of the Osiris Trio has brought the piano trio as a genre back on the chamber music stage," the Dutch newspaper "de Volkskrant" said.

The Aquila Theatre Company's performances on Tuesday-Wednesday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. will offer theatre-lovers the chance to see two plays in two nights at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The innovative New York company will open with "Hamlet," and on the second night will perform its original version of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The company is comprised of actors from London and New York, and has won both academic and critical acclaim. "Beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing and crystalline in effect," "The New Yorker Magazine" has said.

The chamber ensemble Imani Winds will perform on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The ensemble has been described by "The Washington Post" as "nothing less than the future of the once-quaint notion of the wind quintet." The wind ensemble has won several major chamber awards in less than 10 years, and is known for engaging its audiences in concert. The group, whose name means "faith" in Swahili, also explores the links between European, African, and American traditions as evidenced in its recently released second recording, "The Classical Underground."

The season ends with a performance by the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Wednesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The multi-Grammy winning a capella group first came to the attention of most Americans when it worked with Paul Simon on his 1986 "Graceland" recording. However, the group has been performing for more than 30 years, weaving the intricate rhythms and harmonies of its native South Africa with the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. Its most recent Grammy Award was the 2005 Best Traditional World Music Recording award. "The New York Times" reviewed a performance, noting that Ladysmith's "seven bass voices and... three tenors... sounded like one deep, rich, resonant and proud voice."

Individual ticket prices for all shows are $15 for regular adult admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under. Season subscriptions offer a chance to save more than 50 percent by costing just $55 for adults, $45 for senior citizens, and $115 for an entire family. Subscriptions are available now, and dates for individual tickets will be announced at a later time.

Additional information may be obtained by visiting the Hope College Great Performance Series Web site at www.hope.edu/gps, or calling (616) 395-6996.